NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Plymouth State University scored three times in the first 11 minutes, built a 33-0 halftime advantage, and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 33-9, Saturday afternoon in the New England Football Conference Boyd Division opener for both teams at Cressy Field.
The Panthers gained 252 of their 380 yards on the ground. Senior quarterback J.J. Brooks (Seabrook, N.H./Winnacunnet) rushed for two touchdowns and completed 3-of-4 passes for 128 yards and a TD as PSU improved to 3-1 overall. The Corsairs managed just 173 yards of offense, 75 of which came on a touchdown pass with a minute to go in the game, as UMD dropped to 1-3.
The Panthers struck quickly, taking the opening kickoff and driving 67 yards in eight plays, all on the ground. Sophomore Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) keyed the drive with a 50-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, and Brooks scored from five yards out to make it 6-0. PSU scored again on its next possession as Brooks hit senior John Creamer (Hanover, Mass.) for 65 yards and a score to make it 13-0 after sophomore Nick Provost (Stratham, N.H.) converted the extra point.
PSU held the Corsairs in check again, and came up with good field position after senior Zach Parsons (Florence, Mass.) intercepted a pass and returned it 19 yards to the Corsair 18. Three rushing attempts brought the ball to the six-yard line, and sophomore Michael Malia (Waterford, Conn.) scored to make it 19-0. Provost's PAT was blocked by Corsair sophomore Darrien Furr (East Taunton, Mass.)
Plymouth State PSU made it 26-0 early in the second quarter when they drove 74 yards on 13 plays and scored when junior Chad Croteau (Weare, N.H./John Stark) dove in from three yards out. A 42-yard pass from Brooks to Creamer set up PSU's fifth score, a nine-yard run by Brooks with 3:02 left in the first half that made it 33-0 at intermission.
UMD put together its first scoring drive of the second half midway through the third quarter. Taking over at their 37-yard line after an interception by freshman Joe Teixera (Seekonk, Mass.), the Corsairs drove 48 yards in 10 plays, getting a pair of first down runs from senior Eric Pacy (Rowley, Mass.). Sophomore Edgar Osols (Summit, N.J.) put UMD on the board with a 33-yard field goal.
The Corsairs used a big play to get into the end zone with 1:24 left in the game. Freshman Tanner Bachand (Newington, Conn.) made his first pass as a Corsair a good one, hitting freshman Chris Berganti (Haverhill, Mass.) for a 75-yard touchdown on his first play from scrimmage.
For the second week in a row, senior linebacker Mike Fraser (Peabody, Mass.) made 11 tackles for the Corsairs, including three solo stops, while junior Ross O'Toole (Weymouth, Mass.) had nine tackles. Sophomore Ray Boulay (Keene, N.H.) led PSU with five tackles, including four solo stops.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit MIT next Saturday. PSU will host Nichols next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in a game celebrating the 40th Anniversary of football at Plymouth State.
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